Rogues Gallery II: Cuban Envoy Delivers Message to Iran's Ayatollahs

Sunday, August 14, 2016
From Iran's state media:

Iran, Cuba firm to strengthen ties: Rouhani

President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that Iran and Cuba are determined to expand cooperation.

“After the nuclear deal, the ground to expand cultural cooperation and strengthen economic ties between the two countries has been provided and the opportunity should be used,” Rouhani said during a meeting with Ricardo Cabrisas, the Cuban president’s representative.

During the meeting Cabrisas presented a written message from Cuban President Raúl Castro to Rouhani in which it called for expansion of ties.

Rouhani thanked Castro for the message and said Iran attaches great importance to expansion of relations with Cuba as a “friendly” Latin American country.

Elsewhere, Rouhani said that the policy of imposing sanctions is “wrong” and “useless”.

Cuba has been under the U.S. sanctions since 1961, when the communists took power in the country. However, with the restoration of diplomatic ties between Cuba and the U.S. it seems that Washington is loosening sanctions on the island country.

Commenting on terrorism, Rouhani said the scourge of terrorism is threatening the entire world and called for cooperation and consultation between Tehran and Havana to counter terrorism.

‘Nuclear deal was a victory for Iran’

For his part, Cabrisas said Cuba is seeking expand ties with Iran.

The Cuban official also described the nuclear agreement between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) as a “victory” for Iran and other independent countries in the world.

Iran and the six major powers reached a nuclear deal in July 2015. The agreement went into effect in January 2016.

Pointing to reopening ties between the U.S. and Cuba, Cabrisas said that the U.S. government admits its wrong policies towards Havana, however, it is not ending its hostility toward Cuba.

Cuba and the U.S. restored diplomatic relations on 20 July 2015, which had been severed in 1961 during the Cold War.